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Radical efficiency is needed to meet ambitious emissions reduction targets

17 December 2009
Radical efficiency is needed to meet ambitious emissions reduction targets

During the Climate Leaders Summit in Copenhagen on December 15th, a diverse range of corporate and state leaders gathered to share their experience on how high-level commitment to innovative technologies and policies in energy efficiency are already creating jobs and driving significant emissions reductions in their respective areas.

The scale of energy efficiency needed in the short term to meet ambitious national emissions reduction targets means that efficiency must become pervasive. To achieve targets of 50% emissions reductions over 2050, buildings will all need to be at least 40% more efficient by 2050, which means more aggressive timetables for retrofit are needed, while new buildings will need to be zero carbon and produce their own energy. Energy use in the transport and lighting sectors - which account for almost 25% and 10% respectively of the worlds energy-related emissions - demands rapid and effective action to reverse such trends.

Chaired by Steve Westly, CEO, The Westly Group, roundtable participants shared their achievements and challenges:

Nick Robins, Head of the HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence highlighted the huge opportunity for low carbon RD&D with some $500 billion currently allocated to climate solutions revenue.

President Jean-Yves Le Drian, Brittany, pointed to their well established energy efficiency programme. Eco Faur. The Brittany government scheme to give technical and financial support to local actors to sustainable development projects.

Premier Darrell Dexter, Nova Scotia, highlighted 70% energy savings with LED demonstration projects with 1,100 installations currently in place.

Minister Tanja Gnner, Baden Wűrttemberg, noted the regions success in expanding the market for Electric Vehicles by forging an integrated supply chain, ensuring close cooperation between universities, battery manufacturers, utilities and IT companies.

Minister Kate Jones, Queensland, explained the extensive range of measures currently implemented in this region to radically cut carbon emissions from solar heating, electric vehicles to water and waste management against the challenge of being Australias highest emitter per capita due to its high dependency on coal.

Minister Joke Schauvliege, Flanders, discussed how state subsidies and public engagement had accelerated the adoption of measures for energy efficiency in buildings and renewable energy.

Clay Nesler, VP Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls, outlined the thousands of building efficiency projects in which JC has undertaken and its present focus on R&D investment for EV batteries as a key market barrier to be overcome.

Steve Fludder, GE Ecoimagination, discussed the scale and diverse range of products and services in which the company has committed to and pioneered, from Smart grids to energy efficiency in the home through ICT. He also expressed the significant opportunity for energy savings in the built environment presented by Googles recent announcement to provide customers with real-time home energy consumption.

Peter Head, Arup noted how the integration of energy, water and waste would leave to far greater efficiency gains, than tackling each component separately. He also raised the need to implement innovative investment funds aimed at local communities, such as pension funds to ensure funding for building retrofits with widespread benefits to all.

Harry Verhaar, Philips Lighting, agreed with Peter Head on the urgent need for innovative finance instruments such as pension funds to provide the investment required to roll-out low carbon technology, such as LED lighting. He also highlighted the flexibility of modular lighting in the case of LEDs, which promotes and accommodates the speed of innovation in this area.

Engelina Jaspers,  HPs Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, noted the companys stringent commitment to sustainability standards by ensuring the IEEC code of conduct across its long value chain, and their upcoming research on sensor networks in cities.

Nic Villa, Connected Urban Development, Cisco, outlined the achievements of Ciscos CUD programme, with $15 million committed to R&D on energy efficient cities. They have 12 projects in 7 cities with lead participation from Seoul, Amsterdam and San Francisco on buildings, transport and Smart Work Centers. What theyve learned is that a pervasive ICT infrastructure sometimes called a fourth utility is already being developed in countries like Korea.

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